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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Malabsorption?   Sat May 04, 2013 12:31 pm

Hello,

Have any of you had experience with a glider with malabsorption, colitis, or something like it? I have a 7-year old glider (I have had her for six years) that is having recurrent issues and the vet has run out of ideas. Her bloodwork, x-rays, and cultures are all normal but she is pain when she has a bowel movement. She is on a regular dose of lactulose to keep her stool soft to ease the passing. Also on Tramadol at the moment.

Thanks for any help.
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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Sat May 04, 2013 8:09 pm

Malabsorption or metaboic disorder, yes. But, it did not look like straining to poop until the very end, and x-rays were not normal.

Is the lactulose doing the job?

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~*~ Val ~*~
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Sat May 04, 2013 10:03 pm

The lactulose makes her stool softer, so for that part it is working. But she is still in pain and hikes her little rear up very high when she goes potty. Hissing still sometimes accompanies it as well, when it is getting close to her next dose of Tramadol.
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SLHamil



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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Sun May 05, 2013 5:01 pm

Could it be something in her diet? (Just grasping at straws)
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Sun May 05, 2013 7:38 pm

That has also been ruled out. My other three gliders are perfectly healthy and range from 7 to 13 years old. That is why we are looking at malabsorption/colitis possibly being brought on by stress. But I can't identify stressors either. Nothing has changed in her life. I added SAMe to her diet about a month ago and have not seen any difference in her behavior or personality.

She gets a modified BML with very low honey content, your VGV mix, chicken, turkey, fresh veggies and fruit, and yogurt. Up until she became ill, she was getting crickets and mealworms too. I stopped these since I believe the exoskeletons may be more irritating to her right now. She is a good eater and cleans her plate, and is maintaining her weight.

It is breaking my heart. We have been battling this for almost a year, with periods of remission. But this time around, nothing seems to be helping. I am entertaining euthanasia at this point because I don't believe that it is a good quality of life for her to be in chronic pain. I was hoping that someone here would be able to suggest something. Even consulting vets have been no help. I'm at my wits' end.
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SLHamil



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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Sun May 05, 2013 8:28 pm

::hugs:: I wish I could offer more help. I hope you can find a miracle that won't force you to euthanize, but I agree chronic pain wouldn't be a good quality of life. Sending love and light to you and her.
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USMom
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Sun May 05, 2013 10:53 pm

It sounds like she is getting a LOT of protein. That is two staple diets, plus turkey and chicken. Poultry is VERY high in protein, and protein can cause constipation if it is not balanced with enough fiber. You need to have her on a single diet, period. I would suggest the VGV diet for now. Leave out the extra chicken and turkey. There is a page here (you've probably already read it, lol) that talks about how to feed it. The key is variety in the fruits and veggies, which your babies will love. Maybe it will help. I strongly suggest you cut out the extra protein immediately though.

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BCChins
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 7:03 am

I will second what Shawna just said.
You might have to be firm and just serve the one diet and fruits and veggies for a vfew days as they might protest not having all the extra's but be firm and try this for a few weeks and see if it helps.

Where are you located?

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Brenda
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Something_To_Believe_In
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 8:55 am

Quote :
She gets a modified BML with very low honey content, your VGV mix, chicken, turkey, fresh veggies and fruit, and yogurt.
Yeah.... just reiterating what others have said, but this is not a great feeding plan.

VGV and BML are very different feeding plans that are both designed to provide the glider the full complement of vitamins, minerals, proteins and nutrients necessary. You should never mix them. Chicken and turkey can be served on the "off" nights on the VGV feeding plan, but when serving them, you do not serve the staple mix. Yogurt is also a source of protein.
So, it really isn't a surprise that your glider is having some issues. I'd make some dietary changes immediately and see if things don't improve.

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~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 4:02 pm

Look, I do not feed all of these things at the same time. I was just listing everything so that you would know what her whole diet consists of.
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 4:04 pm

I am located in southwest Virginia and I do not have the greatest selection of vets here. I was lucky enough to find one who is consulting with other vets, but like I said, we have had no luck there either.
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 4:18 pm

SuggieG wrote:
Look, I do not feed all of these things at the same time. I was just listing everything so that you would know what her whole diet consists of.
And we are trying to express to you that her whole diet should not consist of any combination of BML and VGV. You should choose ONE of those two diet plans and follow it. Not both, not switching between them. BML is balanced for a day, but VGV is designed to give the gliders what they need over a course of time. You can't use them interchangeably. You should not be feeding them at the same time as part of your "whole diet."


It is great that you have a vet willing to consult. Do you have the ability to drive a little ways to see a more experienced vet?
You might also consider that this is just her behavior and that she is not really in distress. I have gliders who hike their butt and hiss a little when they poop. It does happen. So long as the feces is appropriately sized and not dry, I don't worry about it. A few of the gliders who pass through here have done this every time. So, it may just be a behavior.

In any event, it won't hurt them any at all for you to make efforts to cut the protein in what you are feeding. Gliders vary in how their systems handle things, so we can't compare one to others when dealing with a health issue. If this one is having issues, cut back on the protein. Gliders don't need quite that much protein anyway. Large amounts of protein does cause constipation, so she will only be helped by it.... and it might prevent the others from having issues as well on down the line.

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~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 4:45 pm

I do appreciate everyone's advice. I am not using the diets interchangeably. She is on the modified BML. On off days, she gets an alternate protein. I had used the VGV in the past, but the gliders would not eat it. That is why I switched back.

I have had her for six years. She never hiked her butt and never hissed to go potty until she started getting sick. She has never been constipated. Her poo was always a good consistency, firm but soft. The vet suggested the lactulose since she was in pain going to the bathroom, in hopes that it would lessen whatever was going on.

I will lessen the protein even more, which I have already been doing, and see if it will help. I use a scale to monitor the food intake since I have a glider that needed to lose weight. Any suggestion on grams of protein per meal?

Val, if you have a suggestion as to a very knowledgeable vet, I would be willing to travel. It is just that I know that she needs to be monitored and I don't know how easy that will be to do if the vet is far away. I will Pm you.
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 4:59 pm

Are you feeding additional chicken or other proteins WITH the BML?
It sounds as if you reduced the amount of honey in the BML recipe. If so, you might want to follow the BML feeding plan exactly as written with the honey called for and NOT feed any additional protein with it. BML, mixed as directed, has just under 1 gram of protein in a 1 TBS portion, which is greater than the other widely used glider staple recipes. I would not exceed that amount.

Honey has beneficial antibacterial properties and may help her digestion and bowel irritation symptoms as well.
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 5:18 pm

Hello Candy,

No, no additional protein is fed with the modified BML mix. I use 1/4 C of honey instead of 1/2 C.
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 5:23 pm

Try using the 1/2 it calls for and maybe it will naturally ease her constipation?? Why are you using 1/4 instead of the 1/2? I am not being mean just asking so we can help!

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Brenda
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 5:43 pm

SuggieG wrote:
That has also been ruled out. My other three gliders are perfectly healthy and range from 7 to 13 years old. That is why we are looking at malabsorption/colitis possibly being brought on by stress. But I can't identify stressors either. Nothing has changed in her life. I added SAMe to her diet about a month ago and have not seen any difference in her behavior or personality.

She gets a modified BML with very low honey content, your VGV mix, chicken, turkey, fresh veggies and fruit, and yogurt. Up until she became ill, she was getting crickets and mealworms too. I stopped these since I believe the exoskeletons may be more irritating to her right now. She is a good eater and cleans her plate, and is maintaining her weight.

It is breaking my heart. We have been battling this for almost a year, with periods of remission. But this time around, nothing seems to be helping. I am entertaining euthanasia at this point because I don't believe that it is a good quality of life for her to be in chronic pain. I was hoping that someone here would be able to suggest something. Even consulting vets have been no help. I'm at my wits' end.

I know you have been dealing with this for at least a year and are doing everything you can think of. It's very obvious you want what's best for her. Although she tolerated her present diet without any symptoms until this started a year ago and her labs, UA, fecal, etc are okay (did they test for any occult blood in the stool as well?) leads me to think the symptoms are a cumulative effect of the diet and/or her advancing age or as you have stated related to some stressors. Have you thought about seeking input from an animal nutritionist at Virginia Techs vet school? I'm grasping at straws here, but there may be some specialist there that can help.



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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 5:51 pm

Hi Brenda,

I reduced the honey because of vet concerns that sugargliders do not have a high honey intake in the wild and it has been shown to lead to various health problems in gliders.

She is not constipated. Never was. Her stools are fine. They were soft and formed. But she has pain when she goes potty. That is why Lactulose was prescribed, to make them mushy. Her stools have been checked on numerous occasions.
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 6:29 pm

1/2 cup in an entire batch of BML is not an excessive amount and is an easily digested carbohydrate source for gliders.

Gliders may not eat a lot of honey specifically in the wild, but they do consume nectar directly from flowers and also various insect exudates called 'manna' that are deposited by various insects on leaves and branches. These exudates probably contain similar nutrients as are found in honey that bees produce from flower nectars and pollen. Honey is probably as close as we can come to matching this natural food source.
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SLHamil



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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 7:01 pm

Aimee ( DCMuffin) speaks highly of her vets at SEAVS. She's in northern VA, so I'm not sure how bad the commute would be for you. Might be worth the drive to see a glider experienced vet and see if they have any new insight.
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 7:42 pm

Has your vet also suggested the use of a probiotic at any point in her care? If not, I use a really amazing one and would strongly suggest you give it a try. It is what I credit with helping Encore when she started having issues with malabsorption and/or metabolic disorder.

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~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 7:48 pm

Hi Val,

She is on Benebac once a day. I would love to know what you use. Also, what do you think of a small bit of coconut oil?
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 9:42 pm

I know there are folks in the community that are crazy about coconut oil for themselves. I have never used it with gliders, so can't really comment.

I use a product called Primal Defense - you can get it in powder form off of Amazon. I really do credit it with major changes seen in Encore. Benebac did nothing for her. You can read more here: http://thesweetspot.forumotion.net/t1542-possible-genetic-metabolic-malabsorbtion-disorder?highlight=genetic

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~*~ Val ~*~
Passionate = one step down from crazy

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures - Thornton Wilder

We are what we are, no matter what we might wish to be, or pretend to be. - Dean Koontz in The Face

My favorite color is orange - I'm the normal one.
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DCMuffin
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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Mon May 06, 2013 9:47 pm

SuggieG - where in SW Virginia are you? I'm in Arlington, just a couple of minutes outside of DC. How far are you from here?

Also...how far are you from Roanoke?
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SuggieG

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PostSubject: Re: Malabsorption?   Tue May 07, 2013 8:39 pm

Hi Val,
Primal Defense looks very good. How do you dose? Do you just use the regular and not the Ultra formula?
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